Perhaps due to his thoracic vertebral caries, a degenerative bone disease that stunted his height at four feet, three inches, Shigeo Gochō was highly attuned to the connections and distances that could be captured through photographic portraits. His work, particularly his first photobook, Days (1971), produced in collaboration with Masao Sekiguchi, is associated often with konpora photography due to its focus on mundane scenes from everyday life. However, Gochō expressed an interest in daily life not simply as a way to understand the world changing around him but to understand his own relativity. Taken primarily in the suburbs, the portraits in Self and Others are plainly staged, with most of the subjects centered in the frame at some distance from the camera, facing the photographer. Many of Gochō’s subjects are presented in pairs, as in the work shown here, to underscore the differences between “self” and “other.” Whether photographing friends or strangers, Gochō focused on the connection between him and the subject, a connection that oscillated between comfort and discomfort, familiarity and distrust.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Gocho Shigeo, Japanese, 1946–1983
Printed by Miura Kazuto
from the series Self and Others
1975–1977, printed 1992
Gelatin silver print
Image: 3 15/16 × 5 15/16 in. (10 × 15.1 cm) Sheet: 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm) Frame (outer) (ANW EXHIBITION FRAME): 11 5/8 × 14 5/8 × 1 1/4 in. (29.5 × 37.1 × 3.2 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Judy Nyquist

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

MEM Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, 2014.